The changes include making the building inspector responsible for enforcing the ordinance, since the office of Community Development director no longer exists, and lowers several of the fees included in the ordinance.
For owners of establishments with one to five grease traps, the annual fee is now $200, down from $300, and for those with six to 10 traps, the annual fee drops from $500 to $300.
The annual fees for establishments with 11 to 15 traps and 16 to 20 traps drops $200, from $800 per year and $1,000 per year, respectively.
The annual fee for each additional five traps drops from $200 to $100, and the reinspection fee drops from $300 to just $25. Any additional reinspection fees drop from $300 to $50.
There is no longer any exemption application fee at all.
Miller, who owns Miller’s Barbecue, said he objected to the annual fee. “I’m already paying $400 for a city license and $460 to the county Health Department, and now I’ve got to pay another $200 per year for a trap I already have. I called around. Sylacauga doesn’t have this, Childersburg doesn’t have this, Pell City doesn’t have this. Where is the money going, anyway?”
Water and Sewer Director Cathy Fuller explained that the revenue generated through the FOG program would be used to improve inflow and infiltration of the city’s sewer pipes. The program was required as part of the EPA consent decree that settled the Grant Street Well contamination and other issues. The city actually missed most of the deadlines in the order, including the one to approve a FOG ordinance, and run the risk of becoming ineligible for federal funds in the future.
The revisions had actually been on the previous meeting’s agenda, but was tabled at Miller’s request. The vote for immediate consideration passed 2-1-1, with Miller voting no and Councilwoman Liz Grissett abstaining. Miller himself abstained in the motion for the reading of the heading only.
Council President Horace Patterson said in spite of Miller’s no vote on immediate consideration, Monday night was technically the proposal’s second reading.
The measure was ultimately adopted by a vote of 3-1. Councilman Eddie Tucker was not present.